Grammy Awards Producer Responds to Ariana Grande's Remarks: 'I Guess It Was a Surprise'

Ariana Grande
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Ariana Grande attends Billboard's 13th Annual Women in Music Event in New York City on Dec. 6, 2018.

Ariana Grande explained why she won't be performing at this year's Grammy Awards in a series of tweets disputing comments made by the ceremony's producer, Ken Ehrlich, earlier this week. At rehearsals for the ceremony this weekend, Ehrlich said he was surprised by the singer's remarks.

“I saw those tweets and what she said. I guess it was a surprise," Ehrlich told Rolling Stone, as reported in an article published Saturday (Feb. 9). “I will say this, and they don’t want me to say it but I’m going to say it: The thing that probably bothered me more than whatever else she said about me is when she said I’m not collaborative."

Ehrlich, who said he didn't work with Grande directly but communicated with her management team, continued: “The fact of the matter is — and I actually wrote a little thing in the middle of the night that I’m not going to do anything about, but, I mean. You can ask Christina Aguilera, who I asked to do ‘It’s a Man’s World’ for James Brown. You can ask Melissa Etheridge, who finished her cancer treatment and I put her out on stage, bald, doing Janis Joplin. You can ask Ricky Martin who overnight became the creator of the Latin music revolution. Ask Mary J. Blige, who was scared shitless to go out there and do ‘No More Drama.’ I basically worked with her to mold it. Ask H.E.R. who’s in this show.”

“I don’t know if I’m good at anything else, but I understand artists and I can hear other artists in an artist. I don’t say to people, ‘This is what you should do.’ I approach it casually and say, hey, this might be a good idea, let’s find something in the middle," he said.

On Thursday, Grande tweeted a screenshot of an Associated Press interview with Ehrlich, in which he was quoted as saying she “felt it was too late to put something together for the show.”

“I’ve kept my mouth shut but now you’re lying about me,” Grande wrote in response. “I can pull together a performance over night and you know that, Ken. it was when my creativity & self expression was stifled by you, that i decided not to attend. i hope the show is exactly what you want it to be and more."

"I offered 3 different songs,” she added in her tweets. “It’s about collaboration. it’s about feeling supported. it’s about art and honesty. not politics. not doing favors or playing games. it’s just a game y’all.. and i’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me.”

The Grammy Awards will be broadcast Sunday (Feb. 10) on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

2019 Grammy Awards